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Cops with High-Tech Headgear: Google Glass in Law Enforcement

When you’re watching your favorite crime drama on TV, you may wonder how much of the cool technology is real and practical. Investment in technology is an important part of every police department across the country, but some cities place a greater emphasis on having the latest tech available to their officers. Check out Google Glass, one of many real-life gadgets that makes crime-solving and criminal-catching easier.

Google Draws Inspiration from Star Trek

You’ve probably seen pictures of Google Glass, a head-mounted device that resembles a much skinnier, cooler version of Geordi La Forge’s eyewear from Star Trek. In fact, Google claims that Star Trek was its inspiration for developing wearable electronics that seamlessly integrate into the user’s life. Google Glass rests along the brow line of the user and features a curved portion with a tiny screen near the right eye. The projection system in the device overlays objects and information over the wearer’s regular field of vision.

Dubai Takes the Lead

So how does this next-gen technology help officers in the field? In Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, police departments have implemented a trial phase in which Google Glass aids its officers in identifying traffic problems and violations. In the future, detectives in Dubai will have Google Glass’s assistance for facial recognition, making it easier for them to identify perpetrators quickly.

The high price point of the Glass, around $1,500, gives most police departments pause. Not so with the Dubai police force, who drive fast, expensive cars that go with the city’s reputation as a high-end, luxurious tourist destination.

Cops Recognize Future Potential

Officers in North America may not have the Dubai law enforcement’s budget, but they recognize the value of a more limited investment in Google Glass. With future developments on the way for Google Glass, officers on patrol could instantly compare a face before them to a facial recognition database. Once a match is found, the office could immediately have access to names, outstanding warrants, criminal records, known associates, and other key information.

Google Glass Serves as a Body Camera

Some officers in Byron, Georgia are already using Google Glass as a body camera. Unlike other body cameras, which often yield fuzzy or jumpy footage, Google Glass provides close-up video that is surprisingly smooth and vivid. In addition, the footage reveals the situation from the perspective of the officer, which is vital when the department has to review what occurred during a crisis.

Currently, Google Glass is somewhat limited in its display capabilities, showing mostly short bits of text, taking video, recording audio, or accepting voice commands. As Google adds more features to Glass, policemen can use it to keep their cities safer, assist citizens faster, and save more lives.

About John Martinus

John Martinus has been in and around the tech industry for 15 years. He has a lot of experience since the early days of the internet. He lives in Southern California and when he's not writing tech articles he is hiking or surfing.

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